As much as some folks would like to believe in “alternative facts,” in reality, there are just facts. Quoting half-truths as the writer of a letter to the editor in the Pioneer on July 17 (“Enbridge’s response to LaDuke lacking in depth”) provides a service to no one, especially not to the people of Minnesota.
The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission repeatedly confirmed the need for replacing Line 3 based how the project specifically benefits Minnesota. Minnesotans consume more than 12.8 million gallons of petroleum products every day and Minnesota relies on imports to meet its energy needs. Minnesota’s two refineries produce more than two-thirds of the state’s petroleum products -- 80 percent of these are refined from Canadian crude oil. A total of 100 percent of pipeline-delivered Canadian crude oil supplied to Minnesota refineries comes from Enbridge’s system. Pipelines are a critical piece of the complex energy infrastructure -- some of the gasoline in your car probably was refined in another state and that refinery may have gotten its crude oil from the Enbridge system.
There are also some necessary nuances in talking about what has been a long and complicated process of reviewing the Line 3 project. The Administrative Law Judge affirmed the need to replace Line 3 and did recommend that it be placed in the existing trench, however, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission agreed with Enbridge that the existing corridor was too crowded a space and approved the proposed route.
Enbridge supports a number of organizations through membership and sponsorship, like Minnesotans for Line 3. We appreciate any group that helps share information about the Line 3 replacement project, a $2.6 billion private investment in critical energy infrastructure that supports our economy and assures a reliable and cost effective supply of energy in Minnesota.
During construction the project will create 8,600 jobs in Minnesota, including 4,200 construction jobs. In economic impact that is about $334 million in payroll to workers, and a $162 million construction-related gain for local economies through purchases of local products/materials and use of local hotels, restaurants and services.
Looking long term, each county crossed by the project will receive additional property tax revenues. Enbridge already pays more than $30 million in Minnesota property taxes annually; this will increase incrementally by $19.5 million beginning the first full year of service.
The Line 3 Replacement Project is logical, sensible, and benefits Minnesota -- and that’s the truth.
John Swanson is vice president of U.S. Line 3 Replacement Execution with Enbridge.